Washington Nonprofit Conference Roundup: Lively Q&A at Session on Mobile Fundraising
“This will continue to evolve and change,” noted fellow panelist Steve Groeninger, director of marketing for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, referencing the relative infancy of this type of philanthropic giving.
Suzie Armstrong, senior director of development at Save Darfur, stressed that “it's all about diversification” and that mobile is only one piece of the donor puzzle. As an example, she referenced the organization's Facebook page, which she said is one of the top five Causes pages on the social-networking site but only has garnered $2,000 to $3,000 in donations.
How long does it take for the nonprofit to receive money donated via a text message?
It typically takes about 60 to 90 days from the time the person texts the donation, according to Bailey. In the case of the Haiti relief efforts, because of the urgency of the need, mobile carriers are giving the donations immediately to the organizations, rather than waiting to collect the money from donors via their cell phone bills.
“This is the exception, not the rule,” Bailey noted.
One audience member indicated concern that it might be stressful for donors to know that it will take that long for their donations to be received by the organization.
What portion of a mobile donation does the nonprofit receive, after associated fees?
Save Darfur, which solicits $5 donations via text message on fliers and other promotional materials, the organization pays a $250 monthly retainer to Distributive Networks, which powers its mobile giving, as well as a 35 cent processing fee per each $5 donation, Armstrong and Bailey said. Retainers and processing fees vary by vendor, Bailey noted.
How will a donor receive a receipt for a donation made via text message?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, “a telephone bill will meet the record-keeping requirement if it shows the name of the donee organization, the date of the contribution and the amount of the contribution.” Click here to see the guidelines.